When you reflect on your 2013, do you find yourself focusing on what seem to be setbacks? As I have been reflecting on my own 2013, I see highlights of positive memories and accomplishments-ones I had never achieved previously. And, I also cringe at some personal challenges that made me feel like my life was moving in backward motion.

Backward motions are illusions, though, so, if you have this same cringe when you reflect back, don’t fall for it. The mind can be tricky. I was reminded of this over Thanksgiving.

When I was visiting my friend with four kids, we spent some time on the soccer field bleachers watching her pre-Olympic all star daughter play with clever precision. Not knowing much about the sport, I had a lot of questions. It looked funny to see her daughter’s team take the ball further from the goal for a bit and then maneuver forward again. When I first saw them “going the wrong way,” I asked, “What are they doing?” My friend said, “Sometimes you have to go backwards, to advance the ball and score.” They were maneuvering around the competing team.

It takes confidence to move to your own rhythm to create success when you’re rhythm looks out of synch with the norm, especially when you appear to be failing on the outside. If you are a leader managing others, it takes even more trust and confidence to allow others to do the same. Sometimes what appears to be a major setback based on innocent mistake actually steers you in a better direction than your organization would have gone had they not made the mistake.

If your mind is afraid of mistakes or failure, though, it will be difficult to allow for the mistake to be a positive slingshot forward. Instead, you’ll spin your wheels trying to steer things back on the same path, missing the opportunity.

When I was in my first year out of law school (formerly practicing lawyer), I worked as a firm associate. My partners were pretty good about throwing me into the fire so I could learn to practice law on my feet. I faced a fear of making mistakes and failing I had never felt so strong in my life because others were depending on my success.

One time I was given a case file at 5 p.m. and instructed to argue the motion the next morning. “We’re going to lose this one, but don’t worry about it.” It was just an evidence motion that the client didn’t really care if it lost. We were an affected third party and had no choice but to be part of the argument, though.

Anxious and fear-struck, I spent most of the night finding a way out of losing the case. And, of course, I went in and won my very first court argument. I was so proud, given that I was told we would fail. Thinking this was a positive accomplishment, I informed my partner.

To my surprise, he was not overly-impressed. He did congratulate me, but the client didn’t really want to win the motion. We were not really on the side of the team trying to win the motion, but we were going to have to hand over some discovery sooner or later. The easiest way to do it was to say the court was forcing us. Not to get bogged down in the details with you, the point is that failing would have been positive in this case.

In my defense, I wasn’t told all of this. But, I can’t say that I would have been comfortable with losing my first shot in court if I had been told to go lose. My mind was still attaching my self-worth with outcomes, with measurable success. This is a distraction from being able to feel confident and strong no matter what-from being able to stay focused on the larger picture, allowing things to move in the best possible direction-from acknowledging that maybe I don’t need to control and win every outcome.

Eventually, I have learned, it’s enough for a person to just stay tuned into one’s intuition, doing one’s best to trust and follow it. And, most of all, always remember that your success is guaranteed, if you just allow it. It’s like sausage–you may not always like how it’s made, it may not be pretty, but the outcome is that it tastes good.

So, getting back to now, as you are reflecting on 2013, ask yourself, “Am I focusing on the larger picture of 2013 and beyond and the wisdom that was gleaned, the overall big picture success that I advanced or am I only looking at measurable results?” This isn’t to say that measurable results and successes aren’t important, but it’s a narrow lens. Just because this 365-day cycle is ending, doesn’t mean that there’s truly an ending. If there are any areas where you feel you may have maneuvered backwards, remind yourself, “I am heading towards the goal, I’m about to score.” “Everything is happening at the right time, in the right way.” “Setbacks are just illusions…”

As you are reflecting, you may see mental themes that are repeating themselves in your mind. They may be showing up in your personal life or in your organization as tension or miscommunications or conflicts. I know it seems hard to control the mind when it’s played such themes for a long time. However, it’s quite easy, especially when employing techniques such as hypnosis. Bridgenosis is happy to help you move into 2014 with a clean slate. We work individually and with groups. If you’re a c-suite, check out our Executive Innovator Program.